RE: Dangers of human self-modification

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 08:39:04 MDT

> If you could find a way to plug massive accurate modelling
> capacity in
> biological humans by figuring out how we could grow a neo-neo-cortex
> (or whatever) and how we can grow links between minds to achieve
> stable and reliable distributed mentation - then this sort of
> modification
> might make a difference!
> But I don't think this breakthrough (in physical enhancement of
> humans) is all that critical as we can get nearly the same effect if
> people and machine modelling intelligences work together using
> telecommunications as the glue.
> Cheers, Philip

Philip, I understand your point but I don't agree with it. I'm much
more pessimistic about human nature.

Two things could come from genetically engineering of wise humans:

1) a vastly greater incidence of individuals as wise as the
maximally-wise humans on Earth today

2) the creation of humans who are 2 or 10 times as wise (yeah I know, we
have measurement problems here) as any human alive today

Either one of these would make a big difference, eh?

I just have very little faith in the ability of sociocultural change to
elevate the wisdom level of the race.

In fact, I have little faith that genetic engineering will be used to
create ultrawise beings either -- I reckon it will be used first to
create superintelligent killing machines. And my bet is still that
superhuman AGI will come before any of these things, due to the slower
pace of experimentation in human genetic engineering enforced by
society's ethical concerns about experimentation on humans.

-- Ben G

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